This week, in our PACE Project class (People are Created Equal), we had a student speaker, Kate Kandalova, speak about her home country of Ukraine and the journey she and others have been on in the last year as Russia invaded their country without provocation. Faculty member Liz Rhaney introduced Kate with the following words, "In our PACE Project, we learn that we are all created equal and are intertwined. Yet we each have different journeys and when we share that, our connections become stronger. It takes courage to stand up here and share and we all need to remember that something that happens in another part of the world has an effect on all of us."
Kate shared some history about Ukraine and her hometown of Kharvic. As she said, her life before the war was in many ways, similar to the teenage experience in the US. She claimed it all changed on one night: "It was night. We were not sleeping even though it was 12 am as there were explosions in our city. Airplane bombings started and we were forced to hide in the pantry and at that moment, a plane flew overhead and dropped a bomb that exploded 600 meters from us."
She took questions from the community and went on to discuss how the war has influenced her, and how proud she and others are of the leadership of President Zelensky. Leaving her family to come to the US to Hyde was difficult, but she is grateful for so much in her life. "I started appreciating the small things that we all take for granted."
The presentation moved all of us, and several students and faculty shared what they took away from the presentation:
"Thank you, Kate, for having the courage to speak about something so challenging and personal."
"I learned a lot today about the country and what they have been going through."
"We all have to remember that people may be going through things that are not obvious to others."
We are so proud to have Kate in our community, and we stand together with so many others in the world who support Ukraine and its leader Zelensky as they stand up for their freedoms and for world principles.
Laura D. Gauld '76
President & Head of School